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Inside VR & AR

Inside VR & AR (Apr 20th, 2017)

Mother Jones reports that Oculus co-founder Palmer Luckey donated $100,000 to President Trump's inaugural committee. While Luckey exited Oculus parent Facebook in March, the donation was made when he was still working for the social networking company. The LLC that officially made the donation is called Wings of Time, which other documents show as being under the domain of a larger corporate entity known Fiendlord's Keep. Luckey is listed as sole owner of the latter company. Both company names are references to the Super Nintendo game "Chrono Trigger," known to be one of Luckey's favorites. – MOTHER JONES

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UK charity hospice Loros has developed a system that uses virtual reality to help soothe patients during end-of-life care. The notion is to make the process "a little less heartbreaking" by offering terminally ill individuals a chance to once again "visit" places that hold deep meaning to them from over the course of their lifetimes. John Knight, CEO of Loros, says "Research suggests that the brain accepts the virtual world within 20 seconds after which the experience becomes all-absorbing." Loros provides hospice services for 2,500 terminally ill people in the UK's Leicester, Leicestershire, and Rutland. – ZDNET

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The Six Flags Great Adventure theme park in Jackson, New Jersey is debuting what it calls "the world's tallest and fastest virtual reality drop ride." Six Flags says the ride works overtime to prey on riders' basic fears of spider and heights, becoming an apparent "neurotic's jackpot" (to use the words of Woody Allen). The ride, called the Drop of Doom VR, will let thrill-seekers drop 41 stories at 90 mph, all while batting away at the aforementioned virtual spiders that are "crawling all over their body." – ABC 

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Beloved British naturalist Sir David Attenborough will host a VR exhibit by hologram at the Natural History Museum in London. "Hold the World," the museum's VR experience, will offer visitors Attenborough ("Planet Earth," "Blue Planet") in hologram form as a tour guide for the "fossils, skulls, and bones" on display. The museum's director, Sir Michael Dixon, said the hologram was among the more innovative ways the museum could "offer invaluable insight about the origins of life, the Earth, and our solar system. Stories that are key to understanding how we can best protect our planet's future." – NEWSWEEK

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A leaked document titled "Impact Descriptions Reported in [Santa Clara Valley] from Last Month" may serve as the first acknowledgment of Apple's AR glasses by the company. Gizmodo has access to what it calls a "safety incident document" regarding a "prototype device" that has caused eye strain in testers. In one recorded instance from the document, a tester "experienced discomfort in her eye and said she was able to see the laser flash at several points during the study. Study lead referred her to an optometrist and secured prototype unit for analysis.” The document was accidentally sent to hundreds of Apple employees. The AR glasses project is rumored to be a year away from launching. – 9TO5 MAC

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